[MARMAM] New publication on cochlear morphology and high frequency hearing adaptations in toothed whales

MARIA MORELL mmorellyb at hotmail.com
Fri Dec 19 12:55:08 PST 2014


We are pleased to announce the publication of our recent paper: 


Morell, M., Lenoir,
M., Shadwick, R.E.., Jauniaux, T., Dabin, W., Hiemstra, S., Ferreira, M.,
Maestre, I., Degollada, E., Hernandez-Milian, G., Cazevieille, C., Fortuño,
J.M., Vogl, W., Puel, J., André, M. 2015. 
of the odontocete organ of Corti: scanning and transmission electron
microscopy.  Journal of Comparative Neurology 523:431–448



The morphological study of the Odontocete organ of
Corti, together with possible alterations associated with damage from sound
exposure, represents a key conservation approach to assess the effects of
acoustic pollution on marine ecosystems. By collaborating with stranding networks
from several European countries, 150 ears from 13 species of Odontocetes were
collected and analyzed by scanning (SEM) and transmission (TEM) electron
microscopy. Based on our analyses, we first describe and compare Odontocete
cochlear structures and then propose a diagnostic method to identify inner ear
alterations in stranded individuals. The two species analyzed by TEM (Phocoena phocoena and Stenella coeruleoalba) showed
morphological characteristics in the lower basal turn of high-frequency hearing
species. Among other striking features, outer hair cell bodies were extremely
small and were strongly attached to Deiters cells. Such morphological
characteristics, shared with horseshoe bats, suggest that there has been
convergent evolution of sound reception mechanisms among echolocating species.
Despite possible autolytic artifacts due to technical and experimental
constraints, the SEM analysis allowed us to detect the presence of scarring
processes resulting from the disappearance of outer hair cells from the
epithelium. In addition, in contrast to the rapid decomposition process of the
sensory epithelium after death (especially of the inner hair cells), the
tectorial membrane appeared to be more resistant to post-mortem autolysis
effects. Analysis of the stereocilia imprint pattern at the undersurface of the
tectorial membrane may provide a way to detect possible ultrastructural
alterations of the hair cell stereocilia by mirroring them on the tectorial membrane


The paper
can be temporarily downloaded at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cne.23688/pdf

Best Regards,



Morell, Ph.D.


of British Columbia

University Blvd.

Vancouver, B.C.

Canada V6T 1Z4

Phone: +1

e-mail: morell at zoology.ubc.ca 

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